THE ARTEMIS PROJECT
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ON THE MOON
Financing the Project
Section 3.3.
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Market Surveys for Lunar Artifacts

Jim Davidson

Obviously, a piece of the Moon that costs a great deal (e.g. the price of a car) would be of interest to a small market, whereas a piece that costs very little (e.g. the price of 10 paperback books) would reach a very large market.

When faced with a choice between selling large chunks of lunar rock as expensive novelties for the rich and selling small chunks of rock or vials of dust as inexpensive novelties for the middle class that we do what we should always do when faced with a choice: take both.

Both markets are worth developing. Both markets are capable of providing significant income.

There is a wide-ranging discussion of the value of lunar rocks as a product. Pieces of lunar dust encapsulated in plastic spheres and incorporated into jewelry have been called a "fad jewelry" product. The use of the term is not meant to be pejorative, but descriptive. The popularity of new things is often temporary, and it would be foolish to configure our business plans to have a steady stream of millions of dollars in sales of Moon dust for years and years.

Several key points to consider:

  1. If the intrigue with Mount St. Helens dust was short-lived on a large scale, Moon dust cannot be expected to last more than twice as long as a major market.

  2. A small amount of income is probably still generated by artisans using MSH dust in their artwork, but more for the artistic merit of their creations than for the MSH dust. So we can expect the initial bloom of a fad product and a lower level of sales that lasts a long time.

  3. Fads make millions for those who market fad products and some fads don't go out of fashion. For example, the hula hoop lasted about 10 years, the frisbee at least 30 years. Quite a few products that were very popular in the early '60s made strong comebacks in the late '80s as parents looked for the products they enjoyed as children.

  4. If the fad does produce steady income for a long period of time, that will likely motivate competitors. How hard is it to retrive dust from the Moon? Hard enough to be a barrier to entry, not sufficiently difficult to suggest that there can be only one supplier for very long.

Content by Jim Davidson <73370.3046@compuserve.com>.

Financing the Project

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